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School Board Narrowly Approves Opening of Fifth Junior High

Murphy Junior High should ease overcrowding at Bednarcik and Traughber junior highs.

The School Board voted Monday night to open Murphy Junior High School in Plainfield for the 2012-13 school year.

Board members Laurie Pasteris, Alison Swanson and Bill Walsh voted no after hearing from parents, students and members of the district’s boundary committee in about an hour of public comment.

Lisa Udy, a parent and boundary committee member, approached the board early in the hour, saying that if the district has money to spend on optional programs such as industrial arts at the junior highs and Dual Language, it should have the money to ease overcrowding. She said there are cuts that could be made elsewhere.

“The Dual Language program is a luxury program and could be put on hold,” Udy said.

Where hypothetical cuts could be made throughout the district to help fund the approximate $800,000 to open Murphy revealed a division among boundary committee members when Luis Perez also spoke during public comment.

“Dual Language is a value-added program for the long-term success of the district,” he said. “… This is the No. 1 way to bring our students to English proficiency.”

At least one other boundary committee member also did not agree with the majority of his fellow members regarding the opening of Murphy. Patrick Mackey asked the board to delay the opening until some of the empty homes in the community are sold and a need is more clear.

“There are a lot questions that are yet to be answered that another year would give us (the opportunity to study,)” he said.

, the boundary committee called on the board for a vote Monday night. Former school board and committee member John Graff read the letter aloud to the board.

Keeping Murphy closed would have put Bednarcik Junior High at 150 students over its capacity next year with projected at slightly over its capacity, Graff said.

Walsh, Pasteris, and Swanson asked several questions of Assistant Superintendent Todd Colvin regarding specific boundary decisions surrounding the opening of Murphy. Board member Mike Scaramuzzi said it was important for the board to allow the committee to make its boundary recommendations and to focus solely Monday night on whether to open Murphy.

The boundary committee will meet again Tuesday night and should begin the work redrawing the school boundaries with a goal of presenting options to the board in February. An opened Murphy will be included in those new boundaries.

Keeping it Real January 11, 2012 at 05:54 AM
Holy cow people! I can't believe all the comments about the dual language program. Bottomline, District 308 is in a world of hurt and we are all going to be affected by it for several years. Hunt Club families will feel it next year when their kids get bussed accross town to go to Murphy. And a few years later, all of our kids are going to suffer when the two high schools get slammed with students. Wake up, there are just too many kids and not enough resources ($$$$). Unless this area explodes with development, programs are going get cut and our taxes will continue to go up. Welcome to Illinois.
Andre Salles January 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I've removed a comment and a response for using an offensive term. Please, folks, keep it clean here. Thanks.
it is what it is January 11, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Keeping it real : you cant belive all the comments about the dual language program Im sure to guess either your child is in the program or they do not go to Huntclub? Well my children go to huntclub where one of the programs are. Im not going to get into what goes on inside there classroom because really i dont know but I will tell you what is happening outside the classrooms, step onto the playground where there is soccer being played only for our" english "students to be told " we want to play but its whites against the mexcians" where when there playing there saying this is our sport! where on fieldfday you have a whole class chantting mexcian power when they are playing a game of soccer and the teacher is the one to start it! When there on the playground and the english students are racing and the dual language students are tripping them! so I ask u again what is wrong with this? I see alot,
Wally Pickens January 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
No , bottom line is some of us are sick of being pushed out by other groups. Everyone is screaming discrimination, well I'm tired of being dicriminated against because I'm white. I'm sick of people changing everything because they are offended. I was raised that it is " ONE NATION UNDER GOD" in the pledge of allegence, if you don't like it you don't have to live here!
Dee Dee January 11, 2012 at 09:47 PM
My taxes were raised 27%! I think they can find the money to open up the school and not cut anything.
John January 11, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Since everyone is talking about the cost of the Dual language program - Can anyone tell me what it actually costs 308 per year I have never seen this number. Seems like an important piece of information. Also. what is the cost of transport or bus cost.
mg January 11, 2012 at 11:50 PM
@it is what it is I have a kid at Hunt Club, I've heard nothing to substantiate anything you said. I think people like you are opportunistically trying to inject their own personal bigotry into a school district logistical issue. @Wally Pickens Discrimination against white guys is about as real as Unicorns.
Brandie Holmes January 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Ms. Dee Dee, I have been following this for a while now( I have my first computer now) and a former board member named Mr. Lee Hoffer has explained this in detail. Even though your taxes went up 27% that money went to pay the interest on money we borrowed a while ago. From what I gather we can expect to see a larger increase this year. Sorry to say it doesn't look as though the schools are benefiting from our increase. We can only hope that more and more businesses come to town, glad to see the village is figuring this one out.
Wally Pickens January 12, 2012 at 01:07 AM
@mg it is what it is , is true I have seen it and heard it from my kids at Hunt Club, you either don't see it or you don't care. And it's not discrimination agaist white guys it's discrimination against white people all together, you make a phone call and almost ALL of them start out " for Spanish press 1 for english press 2" What about the other immigants in this country, they learn the english language BEFORE they come here. why is everything catering to spanish people, I thought we were all supposed to be treated EQUAL!!
Wally Pickens January 12, 2012 at 01:18 AM
@mg we are getting off the track here, the real issue is overcrowding, which is happening in part by the dual language program, put the students from Aurora back in Aurora schools and Plainfeild in Plainfield schools. Nobody wants to cut or change the dua language program but in the past 3 years they have made cuts to the DHH program which my child is in and it IS a Necessary program
Jennifer Smith January 12, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Wow, I am really sad to see the direction this forum is taking. Most of you are missing the point. The district is in bad shape and things are going to get worse quick. It has been talked about for years that an operating referendum would be needed, whether a new high school was built or not. Without one, our taxes can't be increased to cover these costs. The fact is that they need to find $5.5 million for a mandated cirriculum change. We also need to staff the additions that will be built soon. This is to educate the kids that are already here. The kids are here, filling up the buildings and we can't educate them properly. Look for programs to be cut, among other things. There is no choice. I don't understand how we pay excessive taxes and are in such trouble. It is a no win situation, sad to see with something as important as education.
patricia hish January 12, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Jennifer, I just tuned in to see where we were at with this and it looks like somewhere in left field. I happen to agree 100% with your last 2 comments. If only the state would come through, it's really a shame. I heard on the way home from work that Governor Quinn is considering cutting state pensions, I wonder if this will have any to do with our teachers. It looks like our kids, our teachers and the community are the ones to pay for this mess. May you have a Happy New Year!
Wally Pickens January 12, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Jennifer and Patricia Another part is the villag needs to step up, stop giving businesses 7 year tax breaks, Lowe's was given a 7 yr tax break and it's only been 5 years, now we have another empty building to try and fill. The village should go after Lowe's for the 5 years of taxes since they broke their aggreement with the village. A least that is the information I was told.
Robyn Vickers January 12, 2012 at 02:36 PM
@Wally, you do realize that Oswego 308 covers 68 square miles of land and includes Oswego and portions of Mongtomery, Aurora, Plainfield and Joliet. We can't just "send the kids back to Aurora or Plainfield." They're part of OUR school district. They pay taxes to 308 just like you do. What's DHH?
Jennifer Smith January 12, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Happy New Year to you, Patricia! And it is a new year if you are agreeing with me 100% ;) ha! We really need some good leadership to think outside of the box and help us all out of this mess. I agree, @Wally, the Village needs to do its part and get business in here! Thank you @Robyn for recognizing that often overlooked fact!
Wally Pickens January 12, 2012 at 03:27 PM
@Robyn I do know that the district covers these towns, but some of the kids are from outside the district, they are concidered "at risk". So they dont have at risk programs in their districts? And DHH program is "Deaf and Hard Hearing" When I went to school it was divided by the towns not invisible boarders.
Lisa Delarosa January 12, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Is anyone concerned about thier 11-12-13 year old going to school where troubled high school aged kids are? I am building a home in Grande Park in (currently in Bednarcik/Wol's Crossing area) and am fine with Murphy opening but had no idea that the district is considering keeping the program there. I can't find any other information on this subject, can someone help? Also, does anyone know if GP will still go to OEHS? have 2 kids there now.
Jennifer Smith January 12, 2012 at 04:03 PM
@Lisa, I have an 11 and 12 year old and I live in GP, so they will go to Murphy and I know they will be fine. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the GOAL program. In any event, the GOAL kids will be separated from the Jr. High kids at all times. Christine Nelson is the Director of Student Services and would be able to answer any of your questions. At this time, the high school boundaries are not going to change, but they may once the additions are finished. I hope you really like it in GP, it is a great place to live!
Robyn Vickers January 12, 2012 at 04:05 PM
The way I understand it is if they are from outside our district and come to 308 for services, then their home district is paying for them to be here. Just like 308 would pay for a child to attend another district for services we couldn't provide. You have to remember these boundaries were formed 50 years ago when most of this was farmland and unincorporated. As towns grew over the years and annexed land, that's how we ended up with with so many parts of towns in 308. I agree, it's a strange system, but it what it is. I'll be honest, I don't know much about the DHH program. I'm sorry your child has been affected by cuts to it. Unfortunately, in the current environment, I don't think eliminating DLL is going to help DHH.
Robyn Vickers January 12, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Christine Nelson spoke at the boundary meeting on Tuesday night so I'll share what I learned. :) There are currently 38 students in three classrooms. The hours are 7.30 to 12.30 or 8.30 to 1.30. Most of the students are there to regain missing credits or due to demerits from the jr/sr high discipline program. No kids are there instead of serving an expulsion, etc. They will be separated from the Murphy kids, but obviously the classroom layout hasn't been determined yet. I won't have kids at Murphy, but I wouldn't have a problem with it after hearing the discussion on Tuesday. As Jennifer said, Christine said to contact her if you have any questions. I hope that helps. :)
Lisa Delarosa January 12, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thanks for the info! You have both put my mind at ease.
SPotter January 18, 2012 at 01:45 PM
The Dual Language Program is a wonderful way for native English speakers to learn Spanish and for native Spanish speakers to learn English. My daughter loves this program, and we love it, too. We will not be moving from this area just because of this program.
Brandon Acuff January 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Any time you mix high school and jr high kids, bad things can happen. Compound this with "demerited" or other issues with the high school kids, and it looks like trouble is a brewing. I do not care what the director of Student Services says, she and the staff may try their best, but they cannot monitor them at all times. Murphy Jr high parents should raise concerns.
cheryl January 19, 2012 at 01:57 AM
I had a hard time leaving a comment so it's late but I want it heard. First my two kids go to Hunt Club and have commented on the dual language kids being rude and pushy on the playground also just recently my 5th grader complained and said dual language classes have 17 kids and his class has 31 hum and we r talking about an overcrowding issue this may be a reason dual language is getting a bad rap I also heard they may. E charging for Dual language. I would pay a premium to have my Kidd in s class with only 17 kids! As far as murphy goes I have a huge problem with the Goal program this is also at Hunt Club and they are not just short credit kids they have behavioral emotional and other issues. No way am I ok withy don going to school with them. The word is they are at another part of the school but they are not on lock down. I feel if this isn't corrected or maybe controlled by a police officer maybe it is not ok.
Angie January 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
@ Cheryl Making a generalization about DL kids being rude is ridiculous. My kids are in DL and they are not rude. Perhaps you should consider home schooling if you don't want your kids exposed to kids that have different needs or cultures. That's the real world.
hp January 26, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Regarding the proposed boundaries....I could not read the tiny maps in the January 3rd "Boundary Presentation"....Can anyone confirm whether any current Traughber 8th graders will be sent to OEHS (Future Panther Night is tonight...would be nice to know if this even matters)? Also there is much talk about current Hunt Club 5th graders going to Murphy...I also heard some being sent to Thompson. I live just south of Plainfield Road in unincorporated Oswego (far from Thompson (and far from Hunt Club as well, but I won't get started on that)). I will seek clarification at the board meeting on Tuesday, but thought someone might be able to shed light on this. Thank you.
Katra Knoernschild January 26, 2012 at 04:59 PM
HP - There are no final recommendations yet. However, from our PCC Mtg last night and the Boundary mtg on Tuesday, the following information was shared: There will be a Public Forum where the committee will present it's Proposed Boundary, with alternatives. This will take place on Feburary 8th, 7PM at the OEHS Performing Arts Center. That meeting will consist of a Presentation, followed by a Public Feedback session. The committee will review public feedback prior to presenting to the board. On February 13th, the Boundary Committee will present their Final Recommendation to the School Board. Board Meetings always provide the opportunity for public comment. It would be best to attend Boundary Presentation, so that you have any necessary notes available, prior to speaking before the board. You will also know, first hand, the extensive limitations, rules and thought process that went in to their decisions by doing so.
Alette Anderson January 26, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I just went to the district's site and clicked on Boundaries. Then went to the wiki site listed there. It has the three possible scenarios listed and can read it clearly. Hope this helps.
hp January 26, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Hi Katra and Alette-Thank you very much for the information...I will attend the February 8th meeting and try the wiki site.
ayar January 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM
You have a point, David, but just Spanish isn't enough. Who has our money: Let's talk about Mandarin Chinese [the holders of our loans in the GLOBAL economy,] and possibly Hindi [our computer based businesses use a lot of it], maybe German [the healthiest country in the Eurpean union]. Like you said, this is 2012, not 1776....

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